Rhode Island Black Heritage Society (1975-) | State Archives Catalog
In 1975, the founding members of The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society sought to preserve three centuries of African-American experience in our state by identifying local “"Keepers of the Story”. With their all-important support the Society assembled a collection that documents local African Americans’ accomplishments in the fields of military service, business, politics, the arts and education. The first public sharing of that collection took form in a Rhode Island Black Heritage Society exhibit called “A Heritage Discovered: Black in Rhode Island.” A decade later came the award-winning 1985 exhibit and publication, “Creative Survival.” Over the intervening years, your friends and neighbors, along with thousands of other Rhode Islanders, have earned “"Keeper of the Story” status by helping to preserve the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society and its collection, through support of the annual Black Heritage Ball. Today, the need for a fresh infusion of support cannot be overstated. As you may know, The Rhode Island Black Heritage Society recently was forced to move out of the now-vacant Arcade in downtown Providence. Its collection of our stories has been sent into exile, locked away in a storage facility that affords neither access nor a sophisticated preservation environment.